Sexual Coercion Commonly Experienced by Teen Males

Perpetrators are most often women who use verbal, substance, seduction, and physical tactics

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent males report frequent sexual coercion, according to a study published online March 17 in Psychology of Men & Masculinity.

Bryana H. French, Ph.D., from the University of Missouri in Columbia, and colleagues studied sexual coercion and psychosocial correlates among 284 diverse adolescent and emerging adult males in high school and college.

The researchers found that four in 10 participants (43 percent) experienced sexual coercion, including verbal coercion (31 percent; 86 participants), seduction coercion (26 percent; 73 participants), physical coercion (18 percent; 52 participants), and substance coercion (7 percent; 19 participants). Across high school and college students, rates were similar. Asian participants reported significantly lower rates of sexual coercion compared to black, white, and Latino respondents. Women were reported as the perpetrators by 95 percent of the respondents. Internal obligation, seductive, and peer pressure tactics were also cited as descriptions of coercion experiences. Coercion that resulted in sexual intercourse was associated with greater sexual risk-taking and alcohol use. Psychological distress was associated with verbal and substance coercion.

"This study contributes to sexual coercion prevention by identifying multiple tactics of coercion, acknowledging women as perpetrators against men, and identifying relationships between coercion and psychosocial outcomes," the authors write.

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